A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life. But one day he saw a swan. “This swan is so white,” he thought, “and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world.” He expressed his thoughts to the swan. “Actually,” the swan replied, “I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colors. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation.” The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, “I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors.” The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him. After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. “Dear peacock,” the crow said, “you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet.”
The peacock replied, “I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere.” That’s our problem too. We make unnecessary comparison with others and become sad. We don’t value what God has given us. This all leads to the vicious cycle of unhappiness. Learn to be happy in what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have. There will always be someone who will have more or less than you have. The person who is satisfied with what he/she has, is the happiest person in the world.
“Sen No Rikyu the founder of the Japanese Tea Ceremony committed harikiti or ritual suicide by disembowlemnet in 1591 at the order his lord Hidiyoshi. Just before he took his own life his own life he said ‘when I have this sword, there is no Buddha and no patriarchs.’He meant when we have the sword of big mind, there is no dualistic world, and the only thing that exists is this spirit.
JAPANESE DEATH POEMS
Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death
Source: Yoel Hoffmann (1937-)
Died on the twenty-seventh day of the first month, 1568 at the age of eighty-nine
My whole life long I’ve sharpened my sword
And now, face to face with death
I unsheathe it, and lo–
The blade is broken–
Died on the twentieth day of the second month, 1387 at the age of sixty-one
Look straight ahead. What’s there?
If you see it as it is
You will never err.
It’s not possible to take Zen out of Shaolin martial arts because Shaolin martial arts were born from Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen. Shaolin Martial Arts is a pathway to Zen. How is this possible? Because the movements cut through the thinking mind. Source: Your Pathway To Zen | shifuyanlei
Thought this was an interesting read on people trying to game meditation by speeding upthe process of settling down the mind.
“Even though you try to put people under control, it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. To ignore them is not good. That is the worst policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them.”
? Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice #zen
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few”
What perfect place to start. If you are interested in Zen Buddhism or meditation in general, start here. Zen Mind, Beginners Mind is a book of compiled talks by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, one of the first Zen Masters to come to the states in the 1960’s.
Since we here at shot1 support any and all religions (that don’t cause harm) we might as well look into what we don’t really know. Use your beginners mind people!